Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Fleecing the Faithful--Again: Former YWAM Leader Defrauds Many (June and July 2011)

Responses to the Christianity Today Article 
(published in print and online June 2011)

At last, a respected periodical has done an article
on the Nordic Capital Investment scheme (NCI).

Did the article help you understand NCI and fraud better?
Is there other information you would like to clarify or include? 
Comment below!

Three essential and disturbing items still linger for us after reading the article:

1. Where is the money--and will this be acknowledged and further traced?
Significant NCI money flows, based on court docs, were going to places such as Mercy Ministries International and New Generation Foundation, including money that went to Le Rucher. This is money that belongs to investors-victims and needs to be returned. For more information/documents see Information and Observations about NCI and Suggestions: Going Forward (point six) on the PETRA People website.

2. How has YWAM been affected--and will there be an independent review?
The comments of Lynn Green, YWAM's spokesperson and (former) International Chair, regarding NCI and YWAM are very hard to understand in light of the court documents and others' testimonies/statements.  For more information/documents see the recent letter asking YWAM leaders for assistance and the previous letters asking for assistance on the PETRA People website.

3. Who are the people involved in setting up and running NCI--and when will this more fully be investigated?

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1 comment:

  1. Ruth E. Van Reken7 July 2011 at 11:47

    I am saddened by that some of the negative comments here are made by those who choose to remain anonymous. This fact alone seems to verify the need for transparency. Why should there not be openness in all who wish to make comments, let alone in financial dealings of all faith based and charitable organizations for there is nothing to fear if all is well.

    Sadly, members of my extended family were defrauded of $300,000 after believing the "pitch" of a financial counselor brought to their US church (likely in good faith) by their pastor but I have never seen warnings published for other churches to beware since that happened. I have watched those who initially reported sexual abuse in the context of various faith communities be maligned as "troublemakers." The sad fact is, unless we are willing to look at all these reports of abuse, be they financial or sexual, perpetrators are free to prey on others.

    Thankfully, the process of disclosure has begun in this situation. The courts in Sweden have shown that at least one person has been convicted of setting up an illegal investment scheme. I agree completely that simple fact alone doesn’t mean all who were involved with him, or even promoted his plan, knew it was a fraud. But now that we do know that, another issue is raised.

    The main question for me is what is the Christian response, not the legal response? The Bible tells us we should be beyond reproach in our actions and activities. If we come together as a community of Christ followers, how would that look in this situation?

    To me, it seems relatively simple. Those who have nothing to fear should welcome an open investigation into all of these matters and be the first to open their books to the public, both individuals and organizations who were sadly caught up in this mess, “winners” and “losers” alike. If this reiterates the New Era Ponzi scheme that happened a few years ago, undoubtedly some individuals and organizations profited while others lost simply because of the nature of a Ponzi scheme. As we all know, these schemes keep going because initial investors do, in fact, receive money received from the next investors down the line. Again, the presumed fact that some gained in this scheme doesn’t imply legal culpability or any sort of complicity for those who received gain. But we have a good model with the New Era scheme. There all involved met and set up a formula so those who had gained at the expense of others could share in some equitable fashion with the losses by returning a portion of the gains. Why could there not be such an attempt in this situation?

    This, then, is my bottom line question for all involved…Petra People, those they question, all NCI financial ”winners” and “losers” alike, the Christian community itself. What would Jesus do here? Surely the Shepherd who Is the Way, the Truth, and the Life wants to lead us all into a place where He is glorified and the work of darkness defeated.

    May the questions raised on this site and the responses generated be part of that process. Ruth Van Reken

    Ruth E. Van Reken
    Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds Revised Edition